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Coca-Cola employees to ballot on whether to strike

By: David Howells
12 July 2011

Hundreds of drivers for soft drinks giant Coca-Cola are set to take a ballot on whether or not to strike over pay.

Wednesday July 13th is set to see a vote take place at Coca-Cola's distribution centres in Bristol, East Kilbride, Edmonton, Enfield, Exeter, Northampton and Sidcup over whether or not to resort to industrial action in a protest over pay.

Around 200 people with driving jobs at Coca-Cola are set to vote in a move which trade union Unite bosses could make for a disruption of distribution across the whole of the UK.

Talks between Coca-Cola Enterprises and its employees broke down after the offer of a 2.3 per cent pay rise was dismissed, with union representatives calling the figure "insulting."

Speaking to, Unite's national officer for food, drink and tobacco explained: "The ballot has come after Unite and its workplace representatives exhausted every possible option to reach a fair settlement through negotiation.

"But the union has been left with no option now but to ballot members for industrial action. With global revenues up 40 per cent at £6.5 billion this year, it is unacceptable that Coca-Cola Enterprises plan to reward its workers with the bitter taste of pay cuts."

In response, a Coca-Cola spokesperson told how it was disappointed the pay offer was rejected and that workers felt as though they had to resort to strike action.

They added that around 230 staff members would be impacted by the events, most of whom with logistics roles throughout the UK, and confirmed: "We are committed to ongoing dialogue with all these employees and the unions, and we firmly believe that continuing dialogue - unlike industrial action - offers the prospect of a constructive outcome."

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